Labour leader Keir Starmer has offered to meet parliamentarians from Labour Friends of Kashmir after over 50 MPs and hundreds of elected councillors and activists defied the new Labour leader over his controversial comments on Indian occupied Kashmir. Keir Starmer’s reckless comments have created a huge challenge for the party. Analysts believe that Starmer is making all efforts to fix the situation created by his reckless comments.
“Labour will always speak out against human rights abuses whenever and wherever they occur”
— Afzal Khan MP (@Afzal4Gorton) May 9, 2020
It is worth noting that the letter was issued late on Friday after hundreds of Labour members, councillors and 50 MPs expressed their anger at Starmer’s statements made to the BJP and RSS-linked Hindu Forum of Britain and Labour Friends of India.
— Labour Friends of Kashmir (Official) (@labourkashmir) May 9, 2020
Starmer said that he would like to meet the group and hear out their concerns in the wake of his controversial assertion that Indian occupied Kashmir “is a bilateral matter between India and Pakistan.”
In the letter, Starmer insisted that Labour’s Kashmir policy remains consistent and there is no change in it. “On some of the specific issues that you raise in your letter, I want to be clear that Labour’s policy towards Kashmir remains consistent in the belief that India and Pakistan must work together, with the people of Kashmir, to find a long-term peaceful solution to this ongoing conflict. Without this approach the hardship and violence that we have seen escalate over the past year will sadly only get worse,” he said.
On Thursday, 50 Labour Party parliamentarians had participated in a video conference with Starmer and told him his recent statement on Indian occupied Kashmir was unacceptable. Starmer’s reckless comments were what made the survival of the party difficult as it always stood opposed to what he had said.
Earlier in the week, Gwynne had told Starmer that the nearly one-million strong British Kashmiri community is anguished after his controversial comments.
Gwynne had reminded the Labour leader that the Kashmir dispute is the subject of over a dozen outstanding United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions which grant Kashmiris the right to self-determination through “a free and impartial plebiscite”.
“It is a matter of international law, of which the United Kingdom has a specific interest at seeing the matter properly resolved within the terms of the UNSC resolutions (both as a permanent member of the UN Security Council, and as the former colonial power which left the status of Kashmir ambiguous upon the granting of independence to India and Pakistan),” Gwynne added.
The international community has raised its concerns over the brutalities being committed by India. Recently, the European Parliament stood up for the people of Kashmir. “Members of European Parliament called on India to immediately put a halt to its atrocities in Indian Occupied Kashmir and carry out investigations into the incidents of grave human rights violations.”
The report of the United Nations’ Office of High Commissioner on Human Rights (OHCHR) on Kashmir recently concluded that the situation in India occupied Kashmir is worst. Christine Chung, one of the authors of the report was invited to the event by the sub-committee. It is worth noting here that the OHCHR issued its first-ever report on the situation in Kashmir June 14, 2018.
It is worth noting that prior to Starmer’s reckless comments, Prime Minister (PM) Imran Khan has repeatedly urged the international community to take notice of the rights violations in the Indian occupied Kashmir (IoK). The fascist Indian regime is using all tactics to silence the voice of Kashmiris. The premier shared a report, Present is Dead and Future is Crying—This is Indian Kashmir through Lenses of photojournalist, by DND, an international award-winning news agency.
PM Modi before his election focused on economic development and re-imagination of Hinduism. Previously, India was theoretically a secular multi-nation state but Modi’s induction to power exposed ground realities of Indian society by turning it into a fascist Indian regime.
It is yet to be seen how the world and international civil society react to the rise of religious extremism and gross violation of human rights taking place in India. Sir Anish Kapoor fairly urged the liberals living outside India that “In Britain, we have a responsibility to speak out against it.”